VIGNETTES de PARIS

It’s been 5 weeks since I arrived in Paris with 2 small suitcases, keys to an Airbnb rental (first time ever) and a blank slate. Albeit unnerving, the onus on me, there’s freedom in that. If my friends and family questioned the sanity of this adventure, I didn’t know it. That was truly a gift…. 

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LIGHTS in PARIS, STILL BRIGHT

Six weeks in Paris. Alone. Studio. 3rd floor walk-up. No elevator. Admit it, right now you’re thinking, shouldn’t she have done this 40 years ago? But, here’s the thing. C’est dommage. I didn’t. Now, three weeks into the journey, I am surprised by its so-far-so-good success. This trip was no whim but a dream which… 

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DESTINATION: PARIS

MEXICO’S CULINARY EXPLORER On my last day in San Miguel I took a cooking class from Kirsten West. You won’t recognize her name but this is all you need to know. Ms. West, an international chef/cooking instructor who has studied Mexican regional cuisine for over 25 years, is German. She’s worked closely with the iconic… 

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A COMFORT LIST for THE ROAD

During the Thanksgiving holiday my friend Meredith explored Patagonia, a meandering territory in the southern tip of South America. This rugged area of spectacular national parks in the Andes mountain range is shared by Chile and Argentina. Forty years ago English author Bruce Chatwin wrote IN PATAGONIA, ‘a masterpiece of travel writing that revolutionized the… 

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TRAVELING SOLO & CELEBRATORY CAKE

Let’s start at the beginning. Several months ago, spotting a cost-friendly Norwegian Airlines package to London/Edinburgh on Travelzoo Top 20, I clicked three times and magically owned an October trip across the Pond. For the past 15 years I’ve received Travelzoo’s weekly “amazing” offers and lived the dreams. Obviously I considered it time to play… 

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BEFORE FLYING ACROSS the POND…

As you’re reading this post, I’m throwing last-minute essentials into my suitcase before leaving for a week in London and Edinburgh. Thanks to the low-fare transatlantic carrier Norwegian Air International now with more direct flights to London than any US airline and a British travel agency, I found a vacation package unable to ignore. TWO… 

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WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS…

Did I ever mention my appointment with a Des Moines, Iowa psychologist. In my mid-thirties, I was needing counseling and advice. After talking to me for 30 minutes he remarked that ‘I would hit my head incessantly against the wall to get something done.’ Heck, I smiled broadly, got all puffed up, considering that a… 

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ALL ABOARD: MY TWEAKS to HAPPY

As counterintuitive as this may seem, Summer 2017 has been wonderful, my happiest since Alzheimer’s knocked at our door thirteen years ago. That’s in spite of, maybe even more so because our country and world is in, let’s admit it, chaos. It’s darn hard these days to stay aboard that happy train. Even Joy the… 

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SUMMER’S HOME STRETCH with FRIENDS

THE COSMO GIRL I first met Karen Kribs, above, fifteen years ago when we joined our mutual friend, Nancy Alciatore, for a month of immersion study at the Institut de Français located on the Côte d’Azur in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Nancy, fluent in French, tested into the Advancé 1 class. Karen and I, both neophytes, were placed… 

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